D’Arnaud HR backs Fried shutout as Braves beat Orioles 3-0
BALTIMORE (AP) — Travis d’Arnaud celebrated his new contract with a two-run homer, Jorge Soler also went deep and the Atlanta Braves beat Baltimore 3-0 Friday night, extending their winning streak to seven games while handing the Orioles their 16th straight defeat.
Max Fried (11-7) allowed four hits in his first career nine-inning complete game, and the NL East-leading Braves matched a modern-era, single-season franchise record with their 11th consecutive road win. The last time that happened was in 1956, when the team was based in Milwaukee.
Baltimore’s losing streak is its second-longest since moving from St. Louis in 1954, topped only by the 1988 team that started the season 0-21. The Orioles have been outscored 141-42 during their current skid, which has left Baltimore with the worst record in the majors (38-83).
Hours before the game, d’Arnaud signed a two-year, $16 million extension with a club option for 2024. The 32-year-old catcher immediately rewarded Atlanta for its show of faith, crushing a second-inning pitch from Keegan Akin (0-8) following a single by Dansby Swanson.
“I told him after the game, dude you’re worth every penny,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “The job he did with Max, too.”
D’Arnaud was delighted to be on the receiving end of Fried’s masterful throws, and relished the home run that made a wonderful day even more special.
“It blew my mind a little bit,” d’Arnaud said. “It put us up 2-0 and that’s all we needed. It was a real fun day.”
It was his second homer in five games since coming off a 2 1/2-month stay on the injured list with a sprained left thumb. d’Arnaud also had an infield hit and drew a walk.
Soler made it 3-0 with a solo shot in the third, and Fried made the advantage stand up. The lefty is 4-0 with a 0.67 ERA in August.
Fried struck out four, walked none and permitted only one runner past first base. His previous longest outing was seven innings, accomplished six times, and his lone complete game was a six-inning stint against Cincinnati in 2019.
“I had no intention of taking him out,” Snitker said. “Just watching him throw and the stuff, I was going to let him run with it.”
Trey Mancini had two hits for Baltimore and Ryan Mountcastle extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning single.
But Fried was too good.
“He had the ability to throw strikes with every pitch he had tonight,” Orioles outfielder Austin Hays said. “He was just pitching ahead and forcing us to have to move the bat. He didn’t walk anybody and they didn’t make any errors. It was a fine combination for them.”
The Orioles, who haven’t won since Aug. 2, remain in hunt of their second win this month.
“There’s no music in the clubhouse. Everybody’s just mad because we’re losing games,” Hays said.
Now in his third season as Orioles GM, Mike Elias said before the game that the rebuilding process is on course despite the team’s miserable record. “We knew this was going to be tough and take a while (but) we’re very much on track with what we’re trying to do,” Elias said. “I hoped that we would be able to avoid the kind of stretches of play that we’re in right now, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know it was a possibility.”
The Orioles claimed RHP Chris Ellis off waivers from Tampa Bay and designated struggling RHP César Valdez for assignment. Valdez notched eight saves by May 10 before faltering. He allowed at least one run in five of seven appearances in August.
Orioles: OF Anthony Santander was given the night off to rest a sore left ankle that’s been an issue for much of the season and was particularly bothersome on the turf in Tampa Bay earlier this week. “Hopefully he’s back in there tomorrow,” manager Brandon Hyde said. … LHP Bruce Zimmermann (ankle) may not pitch again in 2021. “It’s going to be close,” Elias said. Zimmermann went on the DL in mid-June with a biceps injury and subsequently sprained his ankle while working out.
Braves: Hot-hand Drew Smyly (8-3, 4.50 ERA) starts on Saturday night. The lefty is 6-0 in 13 starts since May 26.
Orioles: Matt Harvey (6-12, 6.25) pitched shutout ball in three successive starts after the All-Star break, but since then he’s 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA in three starts.
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